The largest heritage lottery grant ever given to Cumbria is to help fund a new hi-tech archive centre for the county.
Lady Gillford House overlooks the River Petteril
The £4.7m will pave the way for the redevelopment of Carlisle's Lady Gillford House into a new home for the area's public records.
The current record office has been housed in Carlisle Castle for 44 years, but the site is no longer adequate.
Work on the £6.3m project is due to start in 2007, with a planned opening date for the centre of 2009.
Additional cash has come from Cumbria County Council, voluntary organisations and donations.
Roger Bingham, county council portfolio holder for culture, said: "It's an excellent scheme that will bring life back to a disused and semi-derelict historic site and investment to one of the more deprived areas of the county."
Jim Grisenthwaite, head of culture at Cumbria County Council, said: "It will provide a focal point for family and local history research and it will also provide us for the first time with the facilities to be able to celebrate and exhibit the rich archival history of Cumbria to a wider public."
Heritage Lottery Fund regional manager Tony Jones said: "This exciting project will help open up Cumbria's archive treasures to a much wider audience.
"This is a wonderful example of how the past can be opened up to the present to create an innovative project which can be enjoyed by everyone."